Orbiters Journal of Recovery

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
You're right on the money there Escape. I need to step back and objectively look at the bigger picture, figure out why this is happening & reassess what it is i'm trying achieve here.


DAY 2

Missed yesterdays post as I was quite tired from work and thought it best to get an early nights sleep. Was squeaky clean yesterday and have every intention of continuing this today. Really feeling the PMO lapses recently but I suppose a positive of this is that this feeling is an exception to the rule rather than otherwise.

Wishing you all well. I'll be back to post again soon.
I feel you, man. PMO binges turn me into a zombie for a week but we got this. We need to take a break, stay a little bit with ourselves and re-evaluate the big picture, see what doesn't work.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
I feel you, man. PMO binges turn me into a zombie for a week but we got this. We need to take a break, stay a little bit with ourselves and re-evaluate the big picture, see what doesn't work.

There's really something to be said for 'staying within ourselves' I think. Sometimes I get intensely absorbed in projects or problems and I wonder if that's sometimes a defensive mechanism to avoid uncomfortable emotions.

That self-awareness that comes from spending some mindful time with ourselves is so important to gauge where we're at and know when we're in danger. Unfortunately it can be all too easy to forget and that's what the avoidant, inner addict in us wants.

DAY 3

Yesterday was rough. I'm not ruminating but I need to be honest what it was. I felt awful, tired, negative, dazed, occasionally frustrated, all the usual. So far I don't feel much better today. I'm also adjusting to returning to on-site work and my body/mind is probably feeling the effects.

No urges or temptations but they rarely appear when i'm busy during a working week. The morning routine has been tougher to keep up this week than others but I still haven't missed a day yet so I can consider that somewhat established.

I knew even half way through the first PMO on Sunday I was going to spend this week paying for it and I wasn't wrong. Still, if I can make it through the working week, this will at least give me another chance to do the weekend right and set myself up for a better week to come. This means I need to be alert on my weekend and mentally recommit daily to staying clean throughout.

Wishing you all well.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
DAY 4

Posting once again this morning to renew my daily commitment to staying clean & PMO free. Feeling a little better than the previous days but still not all there this week. My head feels foggy, energy is low and, when out on a run this morning, I struggled and couldn't finish the same run I finished this time last week. In hindsight, mornings like these are better suited for meditation and my regular morning exercise. Something gentler and more focused on attacking the brain fog.

I have almost made it through to end of my working week which will (at least this particular week) be a huge relief. I'm genuinely looking forward to the weekend but I need to make sure to maintain my commitment in what I do with it. I'm hoping to make this one a little bit more proactive and spend less time on the computer. Of course, I will need to make sure my brain doesn't trick me and I don't 'forget' that i'm committed to being PMO free this week and beyond.

Wishing you all well today.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
DAY 4

Posting once again this morning to renew my daily commitment to staying clean & PMO free. Feeling a little better than the previous days but still not all there this week. My head feels foggy, energy is low and, when out on a run this morning, I struggled and couldn't finish the same run I finished this time last week. In hindsight, mornings like these are better suited for meditation and my regular morning exercise. Something gentler and more focused on attacking the brain fog.

I have almost made it through to end of my working week which will (at least this particular week) be a huge relief. I'm genuinely looking forward to the weekend but I need to make sure to maintain my commitment in what I do with it. I'm hoping to make this one a little bit more proactive and spend less time on the computer. Of course, I will need to make sure my brain doesn't trick me and I don't 'forget' that i'm committed to being PMO free this week and beyond.

Wishing you all well today.
Great, man! Every journey starts with the beginning. Four days are not too little, they are the beginning. But, we don't need to relapse anymore.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
NOVEMBER - WEEK 3
Today is DAY 5 in my current streak.
PMO
P
M
O
5
0
0
0

Added those two PMOs from the weekend to the list. I feel like there are more but that's probably because of the severity of those weekend binge sessions in contrast to the healthier habits I have been cultivating over the previous months. Also the return to physical work and the somewhat overwhelming, busy nature of a recently post-lockdown city contributes to some of those tired, down, low feelings. Still, it is what it is and progress is progress. I would be only kidding myself if I was expecting all or any of this to be easy.

In a way it may be better to re-frame some these difficulties as 'challenges'. After all, a challenge is set to be overcome and in doing so, builds strength and our capacity to live a better, more fulfilling life. I think building the mental strength, building the capacity to delay gratification and reframing some of those feelings of entitlement towards self-medication and self-soothing, particularly at the end of a busy week like this, need to be considered.

I haven't managed a clean weekend in awhile. So my 'challenge' for this weekend is a weekend PMO free. One day, one moment at a time. Like today, I will renew my commitment to not PMO and make it my 'daily mission' each day. Lapses in my routine, 'forgetting' my commitment and not managing situations that could put me in danger of PMOing are what I need to watch out for. I have many activities to get me through these days if I make the effort.

Wishing you all well today.
 
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Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hey Step, it's been awhile! Thanks for dropping by and for the support & encouragement. I feel like i'm managing to stay the course so far but still plenty of weekend left.

DAY 6 today and I am once again here posting to renew my daily commitment to staying clean & PMO free. I feel like i'm starting to feel better again. Yesterday was a strong day PMO free even if I was feeling the effects of the week energy-wise. Being able to leave the house, do things, even catch up with a friend for an hour or two makes such a huge difference. It's of course a delicate balancing act, especially when drinking is concerned but I know I need to be careful with that and if i'm not, well that's on me.

Slipped on my routine a bit today as I was fairly absorbed in a programming project for the last few hours. I know I need to make sure i'm not too 'all or nothing' or legalistic about these things as Phineas would say, but preparation is important and these things can all to easily snowball into PMO at this delicate early stage. Right now the number 1 priority is just beating today, then the rest of the weekend.

Wishing you all well.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hi, Orbiter. You got this. If you can abstain yesterday, you will today. If you've abstained any weakend, you can abstain this one.

It's all how you view it.

Absolutely right Phineas! In the end, today is just another day much like any other right? This weekend is just like any other.

I think my stumbling block over the weekend is really to make sure not to 'forget' that i've quit. The (your) idea of renewing that commitment daily in the morning, considering the unique obstacles or challenges of the day and going into life with that renewed focus and a bit of a battle plan really resonates with me. It seems to be working well at the moment.

A plus of this is it also meaningfully changes the perspective of this undertaking from "oh god 120 days or whatever is a long time i've never been able to do it before how could i ever etc." to genuinely focusing on just today. It also means that, once that purpose is re-established, as you say you can really just go about the day and not worry about it too much.

I think as a person I have a tendency to over think most things and, in doing so, too often put together very elaborate, somewhat unsustainable plans that fall through because they're too rigid and too overwhelming. I think I have enough good habits & pursuits in my life at the moment that I can worry less about 'filling the void' and focusing on just making sure i'm staying away from PMO and the bad habits & self talk that come with it.

DAY 7 today. It is the last day of the weekend and, once it has passed, I will have successfully made it through without so much as even a thought or a slip up. I am once again here to renew my commitment today to staying clean & PMO free.

Wishing you all well today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
DAY 7...to DAY 0

I am resetting my counter as, while I have not PMOed, I did look at several pictures and watched some clips today. It was a bit of a cat-and-mouse game of peeking, snapping myself out of it, abstaining and auto-piloting back to peeking before eventually giving in and watching some clips. It's annoying and I feel frustrated & heightened after but it will pass.

I did not manage to stay clean but I feel that if I can abstain from PMOing, I will have at least broken the full cycle of PMO behaviour. I fully intend to do this.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
DAY 7...to DAY 0

I am resetting my counter as, while I have not PMOed, I did look at several pictures and watched some clips today. It was a bit of a cat-and-mouse game of peeking, snapping myself out of it, abstaining and auto-piloting back to peeking before eventually giving in and watching some clips. It's annoying and I feel frustrated & heightened after but it will pass.

I did not manage to stay clean but I feel that if I can abstain from PMOing, I will have at least broken the full cycle of PMO behaviour. I fully intend to do this.
Yes, try not to PMO and try not to edge. You watched some porn but try to get out of it for the day.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I did not manage to stay clean but I feel that if I can abstain from PMOing, I will have at least broken the full cycle of PMO behaviour. I fully intend to do this.

Good run on the 7 days! And good disruption of the [former] usual, lapsing every weekend. Sure, it wasn't perfect or linear, but it shows your seriousness and determination. A lot of this is taking back power from the habit, and restoring our resilience and determination.

It is certainly progress to not complete the habituated cycle, and to not give yourself- or your lower brain- that complete gratification.

Think now on what served you best during those 7 days, like the concept of 'setting it and forgetting it', your level of determination, etc... And, also think about what [almost] sabatoged those efforts, the little peeks- what led up to them, what were your feelings at the time, what you could have done differently.

You sound a lot like me, overly analytical (are you a Virgo by any chance?), but in this case- when it counts- let analysis be your best friend.

Blessings to you, Orbiter. I believe in you!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks Phineas & Escape, I really appreciate the support. My natural tendency leans so strongly to an all or nothing mindset that when things like this happen, I always just give up and binge. Such perfectionism, when scrutinized further, could appear to be little more than a convenient excuse to binge instead of minimizing or abstaining from PMO entirely. Maybe that's part of my cycle? Sabotage by wilful exposure to cues and then, once i've sufficiently failed to live up to the standards set, and free to binge until I start from scratch once again tomorrow.

In that case, true accountability would mean two things, dismissing the urge and stopping at any point no matter how bad it got, even if you are already half-way towards PMOing or lapsing. The second would be recording the incident and resetting the counter. The counter is for accountability and treating such things as a near miss, at least for me, emboldens the addict part of my brain that is pushing for more and more.

Phineas - I am actually a Cancer but funnily enough, both my mother, my sister and in fact many family friends are all Virgos. Perhaps I have absorbed their influence over the years lol!

That said I do need to reflect further on HOW it happened and how it can be avoided next time.

DAY 1 this morning and I am happy to let you know I did not PMO, peek, watch, edge, M or engage in any addict behaviour for the rest of yesterday. The rest of the day actually went pretty well and I honestly I feel much better for not lapsing even if I did look. It just goes to show, abstaining at any point is still better than the alternative. I have never regretted not PMOing and yesterday was no exception.

So once again I am here to renew my commitment to staying clean & PMO free.

Wishing you all well today.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Maybe that's part of my cycle? Sabotage by wilful exposure to cues and then, once i've sufficiently failed to live up to the standards set, and free to binge until I start from scratch once again tomorrow.

This would be a big hack, if proven to be true. It reminded me of my own behaviors that would kind of 'set myself up' for failure, like starting a fight with my wife, or isolating myself, etc, all so I could create an environment conducible to lapsing...

In my early twenties, when MO was the big thing to fight, my mind would create these elaborate rationalizations deep in the night where I'd be convinced (half asleep) that I had to have an MO session in order to save the world, or something...

It goes to show how tricky the lower brain is when it wants what it wants, but this (thankfully) can be overridden and vetoed by our higher brain.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Thanks Phineas & Escape, I really appreciate the support. My natural tendency leans so strongly to an all or nothing mindset that when things like this happen, I always just give up and binge. Such perfectionism, when scrutinized further, could appear to be little more than a convenient excuse to binge instead of minimizing or abstaining from PMO entirely. Maybe that's part of my cycle? Sabotage by wilful exposure to cues and then, once i've sufficiently failed to live up to the standards set, and free to binge until I start from scratch once again tomorrow.
I feel you, man. I'm in the same boat. I understand perfectly how that goes. I usually start with the "least harmful thing for just a little bit" which lately has been simple masturbation and then this escalates more and more until I end up watching hardcore. After that it's like: "Fuck, I've relapsed anyway, I'll start tomorrow strong but now I can take advantages of this". I (we) must stop this behavior. I know it's not easy with the chaser effect and all but we must train ourselves to think about it like: "Ok, I've made a mistake but now I caught myself, I will not further bury myself with more porn, more edging, more PMO." One PMO in a 20 minutes session is not the same as hours of edging and 5 PMOs. I "tend" to forget this, no I "like" to forget this.
 

EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
Hi Orbiter, Escape.

I'd just like to say again - urge surfing. It took me a while to really get the hang of it. I am at a point that - it never fails me.

The next time you feel triggered. Go on YT and search for Urge surfing and pick one video and go trough it. Do this every time. It might not work the first few times but after a while I believe you will "get it". Make your own variation. Like for example I just added the component of "self-forgiveness" to it recently - it helps.

I took a workshop this weekend over Zoom. There was one participant who had an absolutely gorgeous profile image. It triggered me. I held space for me and urge surfed. It worked like a charm. I am all good now.

Much love to all who are reading this
EW
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Hi Orbiter, Escape.

I'd just like to say again - urge surfing. It took me a while to really get the hang of it. I am at a point that - it never fails me.

The next time you feel triggered. Go on YT and search for Urge surfing and pick one video and go trough it. Do this every time. It might not work the first few times but after a while I believe you will "get it". Make your own variation. Like for example I just added the component of "self-forgiveness" to it recently - it helps.

I took a workshop this weekend over Zoom. There was one participant who had an absolutely gorgeous profile image. It triggered me. I held space for me and urge surfed. It worked like a charm. I am all good now.

Much love to all who are reading this
EW
I really like urge surfing but I feel like we don't have the full picture here. It's not just urge surfing, craving for porn comes from deep inside. I believe some people have a harder time because of their lives. And I will give myself as an example. I am single, I am obsessed to get sex and I don't, porn is how I medicate literally everything in my life... So it's like what Easy Peasy talks about, it's the brainwashing, porn is too "important" for me. I could do urge surfing but what gets me is the unbearable pain of being lonely, of not having any sex, of having crippling social anxiety and sitting with myself to experience all this when I abstain from porn. In the end, I go back to porn. I haven't been able to figure this out and I guess this is why I'm having such a hard time to only treat this as simple as "Do urge surfing".
 

EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
I really like urge surfing but I feel like we don't have the full picture here.
There are levels of mastery to urge surfing. At the surface level it might look like it doesn't work. I believe I have also posted on my journal in the past that urge surfing doesn't work for me. Yet there are deeper levels to it when you get the nuances and dive deeper in it.

It works for me when I can get in the observer consciousness. When you don't associate with the feelings of loneliness yet you feel loneliness. I find it a bit quantum mechanical state. Like I am both the observer and the feeler of my feelings at the same time but I am also neither or things things and both at the same time. A bit hard to explain. But in this state I find it good to ask questions. Why is this coming up for me? What is the lesson here?

I remember getting hit with this immense feelings of loneliness. I did urge surfing. I just observed loneliness. After 10-15 minutes. I feel a whole lot better. Like loneliness would be lifted from me.

But I get it. It is not for everyone. This is just another invitation to give urge surfing another try. Also highly recommend to play around with variations.

EW

edit: "Just observed" - this is on oversimplification, there is a whole lot of nuance in "just observed". Nuance and depth that comes with practice.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
All great points guys! Thanks for the input. If there's an emptiness in our lives that P is filling, that needs to be addressed no doubt. I personally, feel like I have made considerable efforts to address this which I have documented over much of the 2 million or so pages of this journal. I have stressed this in the past to others here who I have watched white-knuckle their way to an inevitable collapse & relapse and I still stand by it. I also agree that we need a defense against urges beyond avoidance for this to be sustainable.

It's a bit of a chicken & egg situation with which should take priority first. Most successful rebooters seem to lean towards urge surfing and letting the lifestyle changes be an organic by-product of abstaining instead.

I will take your advice EarthWalker and search up a video next time I am feeling the chaser effect...

...which is perfect because it is DAY 2 this morning and the chaser effect is definitely present.

EDIT: Fixed clumsy phrasing & elaboration of some important points.
 
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Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
All great points guys! Thanks for the input. If there's an emptiness in our lives that P is filling, that needs to be addressed no doubt. I personally, feel like I have made considerable efforts to address this which I have documented over much of the 2 million or so pages of this journal. I have stressed this in the past to others here who I have watched white-knuckle their way to an inevitable collapse & relapse and I still stand by it. I also agree that we need a defense against urges beyond avoidance for this to be sustainable.

It's a bit of a chicken & egg situation with which should take priority first. Most successful rebooters seem to lean towards urge surfing and letting the lifestyle changes be an organic by-product of abstaining instead.
Yes, I definitely agree. Porn has been my "medication" since the day I found it. I understand perfectly what you mean by "white-knucle their way to an inevitable collapse & relapse" because that's what I feel happened to me when I had some longer streaks. I pushed myself to the limits, enduring the urge torture until I got exhausted and binged. I had not found the way to do it, it was just an "accident" brought by being super stubborn in that period of time. But after that I realized I needed more than just "Rambo style" through the urges. I thought I could do it like that but the urges got the best of me and to be honest it kind of scared me, I thought: "Okay, if I failed now because I couldn't fight the urges anymore, will I ever be able to escape this shit?" Then Phineas told me about urge surfing but I couldn't really make it work because my problem was the craving for porn, as porn was very "important" for me, it was my medicine and especially, and this is very important to note, it was my "sex life" as I am very frustrated, very ver frustrated with my lack of success in this aspect of my life, maybe porn contributes to this obsession, I don't know. I could not take my mind of porn and I could not tolerate the empty, depressing, miserable feeling I had in absence of porn and the frustration of lack of sex. I even contemplated going to hookers, to be honest. That's why this urge surfing thing got tricky for me. But I still do believe that some people have it harder than others but they will still make it. Some people might go from Point A to Point B straight like that, I might need to go to Point C and D, and maybe E before arriving at Point B myself but I can do it. And I guess this goes for anybody who has a harder time than others with this addiction. We might need to work harder but this doesn't mean we can't.
 
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